|The Season of Sakura|
Sakura no Toki
|English||The Season of Sakura|
|Japanese Air Date||April 11, 2013|
|Other||March 14, 2015 (Indonesia)|
|Insert Song||Happiness on the same Earth|
|← April Fools' Promise☆||Raise The Curtain☆Fresh Girls Cup →|
The Season of Sakura (さくらの季節) is the 26th episode of Aikatsu! TV anime series and the 26th episode of its "1st Season" (
As a new school year arrives Ichigo is tasked with mentoring a new freshmen, Sakura Kitaoji. However, her twin brother, Sakon, doesn't approve of her enrolling in Starlight Academy and living on her own.
It is the day of Starlight Academy's Entrance Ceremony. Johnny is very excited while Aoi points out that she and Ichigo have been at Starlight Academy for six months now. Johnny goes on to explain that because the girls are now Second Year Students, they will be helping the brand new First Years.
After class, the girls go to meet their idol freshmen. While Aoi and Ran are quickly able to locate theirs, Ichigo is unable. She sees how happy everyone looks and starts to recall how she and Aoi felt when they first joined. She also recalls her first time with Mizuki before realizing that Mizuki is a third year now, while she is a first year. This makes her wonder if she has to be as good as Mizuki was at this point in her idoling lessons, but her mood is quick to change as a black limo appears.
A pink-haired girl steps out of it and Ichigo realizes that this was the girl she is to be helping. She goes to speak to her, but spots the girl with a boy resembling her. He appears very cranky and is against the girl attending Starlight Academy, so Ichigo decides to give them some space and just try again when the Entrance Ceremony ends.
The ceremony comes by very quickly and Johnny tries to make a big production of it until recalling Orihime is standing nearby. As everyone sits in the audience before him, Mizuki notices that many of the first years are staring at her. Ichigo shows the surprised Aoi who her partner is and she makes an attempt to reveal just who Sakura is. But they are interrupted by the speech as Johnny announces that a special Fashion Show will be held strictly for the new students. The winner will get her picture on the cover of the new students directory.
Once the ceremony ends, Ichigo attempts to locate Sakura and finds her speaking to Mizuki. She is very surprised to see them speaking casually and happens to overhear a few girls nearby mention her too. Out of nowhere, Aoi appears to tell Ichigo that valuable information she couldn't mention earlier. Mizuki had learned traditional Japanese dance from Sakura's grandfather, which is how they know each other. She also mentions the long history of Kabuki Acting in the Kitaoji family, even saying that Sakura learned it as well. She is also highly popular in media.
As Ichigo continues to watch Sakura, Mizuki takes her leave and she attempts speaking to her again. Ichigo introduces herself before mentioning that she is to be her mentor and Sakura is very excited, but her formal speech catches Ichigo off guard. It's then her brother comes by again and Aoi explains that they are twins. He scolds Sakura for agreeing to live here in the dorms, which he found out from the teachers. She knew he would be angry if she told him, which is why she kept it a secret. She goes on to say that everyone approves of her dreams, except for him. Sakon claims that he is the only one who knows Sakura the best, and that they should just turn down this idea and go back home.
Ichigo tries to ask why he wants Sakura to quit, but he tells her to mind her own business since it's between them. But Ichigo claims that she is Sakura's mentor so she deserves to know too, causing Sakon to state that Sakura is unable to live on her own. Whether she likes it or not, Sakura still needs him and he breaks out into Kitaouji Theater. Where he explains that Sakura is very fragile and has always been behind him. He's always protected her growing up and he has promised to protect her at the cost of his own life, and while Ichigo thinks this is very nice, Aoi doesn't approve.
The twins resume arguing before Sakon asks why Sakura even wants to become an idol to begin with. She is unsure of how to respond, then claims that no matter what she will become an idol. She refuses to go home, so he claims that if this is what she really wants then he will be disowning her as a sister. But this has no effect on Sakura as she will not return home. Sakon gives up at this point. Ichigo tries to convince him to stay, but Aoi holds her back. Sakura changes the subject by asking about the Fashion Show coming up and they get to training, where she shows her wonderful models walk and the coord she plans on using for the show. Ichigo feels it is perfect for her, so then they go over everything else like her Aikatsu phone and ID. Sakura then mentions how happy she felt when she first picked up the ID and phone after passing the exam, then she asks Ichigo her reasons for becoming an Idol. Ichigo reveals to her that it was after seeing Mizuki perform.
She goes on to tell Sakura that she can ask her anything, but when Sakura can't think of anything, Ichigo goes to chat with Ran and Aoi. She finds them separating from their own trainees, and later in the dorm room Ichigo watches as Aoi tries to think of some advice to give to her partner regarding which coord to wear. Ichigo comments on how good of a mentor Aoi is, then admits that while she really likes Sakura she worries that she isn't a good teacher for her, since she is not as involved as them. Aoi suggests to Ichigo that she just tries to do what she always does, but she isn't entirely sure of what that exactly is.
The next day, everyone has been training with their partners to get them ready for the fashion show the day after. After Sakura notices how tired Ichigo is, she asks if they should take a break and apologizes for taking Ichigo's time like this. Ichigo claims it to be fine before complimenting Sakura's stamina - finding out that she's been jogging once a day since she applied to Starlight Academy. She's also been spending her time singing, acting dancing, and coordination. Ichigo is very impressed and Sakura mentions that she really wants to become an idol. Ichigo once again asks why that is since Sakura never revealed why, and she is surprised to see the Kitaouji Theater.
Sakura explains that she wanted to start her idol life the moment she saw Mizuki performed during one festival. For the course of time she struggled to sleep as she couldn't get it off her mind, and one day, she made the decision that she too wished to become an idol. With that, the theater segment ends. Ichigo comments on how nice it was, when two students come by to do some training there. They discuss how they are sure Sakura will win while wondering what she will be doing for the show, unaware that she has suddenly become saddened. Sakura quickly pretends to be okay however before excusing herself to go and resume preparations. Ichigo feels bad but says nothing, instead heading to the Gazebo she usually heads to in times of concern.
There Mizuki comes by to ask why she is there. Ichigo explains her concerns with Sakura, and admits to feeling helpless since she isn't able to help her as much as other Mentors have. Mizuki has taught her so much and Ichigo really wants to help her, but she doesn't know how to. Mizuki goes on to say that even if Ichigo is struggling, she is trying very hard to be a good teacher for Sakura, so just being there will probably be enough. Ichigo begins to think about how Sakura has been separated from her brother, someone who always looked after her, and yet she is still trying. Inspired with this, Ichigo runs off after she thanks Mizuki.
Later that night, Sakura is moping in the corner of her room while her roommate listens to music. She happens to notice that Ichigo sent her a text directing her to look outside. She gets up and approaches the window to notice Ichigo and very bright lights as they turn on to light up the bright pink Sakura Trees some feet away. Ichigo tells Sakura that she isn't alone, even if she thinks she is, and she tells her that she will make tons of new friends and everyone will be there supporting her. She wants Sakura to put on a great performance and promises to always be there for her. This gesture touches Sakura deeply, while Naota, who had gotten the lights complains over Ichigo hassling him.
The following day, Ichigo checks to make sure Sakura has everything. She then leaves for the changing area and inserts each coord card, changing into her desired outfit and appearing on stage, where she dances to "Happiness on the same Earth".
In the end it turns out Ran's student had won. Sakura is a little disappointed but also very happy to have been on stage. To her surprise, her brother was watching her. He reveals that Ichigo managed to convince him to come and in this time he learned that Sakura really has grown since they were little. She did well on her own, but Sakura claims that she was never alone, not now that she has Ichigo on her side. She asks her to remain close to her so that she can turn to her for advice and guidance. To agree, Ichigo attempts to speak in a dramatic manner befitting of the Kitaoji, but Sakon and Sakura end up laughing at her.
- The opening song (Diamond Happy) and ending song (Hirari/Hitori/Kirari) debut in this episode marking the start the second half of the anime adaptation's first season.
- As the episode title states, this episode marks the official anime adaption debut for Sakura Kitaōji.
- Along with Sakura's debut appearance in the Aikatsu! anime adaption overall, this also marks the first appearances of the "Kitaoji Theater" phenomenon.
- The song Happiness on the same Earth appears for the first time.
- The Lime Stage Coord appears for the first time.